State of Play writer Paul Abbott confirms he’s writing a sequel to the acclaimed 2003 drama

The Shameless creator says he knows "exactly where I’m going with it".


Shameless and No Offence writer Paul Abbott has revealed that he is working on a follow up to his 2003 political drama State of Play.


The multiple award-winning six-episode series told the story of a newspaper’s investigation into the death of a political researcher and boasted an all-star cast including  David Morrissey, John Simm, Kelly Macdonald, Polly Walker, Bill Nighy, and James McAvoy.

And it looks like a revival of the show might not be too far off, with Abbott suggesting in the latest issue of Radio Times that he is making good progress, even if the pandemic somewhat disrupted him.

“I know exactly where I’m going with it,” he said. “COVID and [new drama] WOLFE got in the way, but I just need three weeks of focused attention and then I’m presenting two episodes to the BBC. It’s really good. Every time I pick it up, I’m so excited.”

And asked if any of the original cast would be returning to reprise their roles, he added: “We don’t discuss that because they’ve been waiting for 17 years for me to make it! I don’t think anybody believes I’ll deliver it but now, it’s so near…”

Interestingly, Abbott was originally commissioned to write a sequel to the first run all the way back in 2003, before it had even finished airing, but he appeared to have abandoned the idea in 2006 when he told Front Row that he “couldn’t find a way to make the story work”.

The series did go on to inspire a Hollywood film of the same name starring Ben Affleck and Russell Crowe in 2009, with Abbott serving as an executive producer on the movie, which also received largely positive reviews.

Abbott’s latest drama WOLFE is billed as a “razor-sharp forensic crime series” arrives on Sky in early September, and tells of the titular Forensic Scientist Professor as he and his team “piece together the parts of an outlandish and unconventional investigation”.


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